Senator Paul Utke, colleagues, pass legislation preventing the use of taxpayer dollars for Governor Walz’s appeal of Enbridge Line 3

The Minnesota Senate passed legislation on Thursday that will protect Minnesota taxpayers from paying for the Governor’s appeal of the Public Utilities Commission order issuing a Certificate of Need for Enbridge Line 3.  The bill, authored by Senator Paul Utke (R-Park Rapids), comes just over a month after Governor Walz and the Department of Commerce announced that they would renew an appeal of the Certificate of Need for the pipeline replacement project planned for Northern Minnesota.

“This is a new low in our state government,” said Senator Utke. “We have one department suing another over a politicized issue that’s only outcome will be the delay of a critical infrastructure project and the waste of taxpayer dollars. This is not how a governor’s administration should be run and is a blatant misuse of Minnesota’s taxpayer dollars.”

“This continued stonewalling is unacceptable. Enbridge’s project has been extensively vetted and has received unanimous approval from the PUC.  On top of that, it has received significant support throughout Northern Minnesota with most local elected officials and landowners asking for it. It’s time for this administration to end the political posturing so that Minnesota can move on and get this project completed for the benefit and safety of all our state’s residents.”

Earlier this month Enbridge announced that it would delay its construction timeline on the project due to slower-than-expected permitting in Minnesota. Instead of being operational in 2019, Enbridge has said that the pipeline would be up and running in late 2020.

“This whole issue is about the replacement of an aging pipeline that needs to be replaced,” continued Senator Utke.  “For the safety of our communities and state it is time to let this company replace this pipeline and remove the considerable number of oil cars rolling down the tracks every day.”